California State Seal
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF INYO
     

 

FAMILY LAW

Select Topic

{title}

___________________________________

{text}

___________________________________

Changing your Name

Adoption Overview

Guardianship


Guardianship

Guardianship is a court proceeding in which a judge gives someone who is not the parent:

  • custody of a child, or
  • the power to manage the child's property (called "estate"), or
  • both.

Can I name a guardian for my children?

Yes. You can write a letter naming a guardian for your children and keep it with your important papers or write in your Will who you want to be the guardian of your children when you pass away.

But if both parents are dead, the court will decide who the guardian is. The court will try to appoint the person you wanted. But, the court will also consider what is best for your child and will ask the child what s/he wants.

Relatives, friends of the family, or other people can ask to be legal guardians.

Can a child ask the Court for a guardian?

Yes. If the child is 12 or older, he/she can ask the court to appoint a guardian.

The information in this section is about Probate Guardianships.

Probate Guardianship of the Person is set up because a child is living with an adult who is not a parent, and the adult needs the legal right to make decisions on behalf of the child.

Sometimes, no matter how much parents love their child, they aren't able to take care of their child. Maybe one or both parents:

  • have a serious physical illness,
  • are in the military and have to go overseas,
  • have to go to a rehab program for a while,
  • are going to jail for a while,
  • have a drug or alcohol abuse problem,
  • have a history of abuse, or
  • can't take care of their child for some other reason.

The court will look at what is in the best interest of the child to make sure the child is raised in a safe, stable and loving environment. A legal guardian can care for a child when the parents aren't able to.

There are two types of Probate Guardianship:

Guardianship of the Person which means the guardian has custody of the child. The guardian has the same responsibilities as a parent. That means the guardian has full legal and physical custody of the child. The guardian is responsible for the child's care, including the child's:
  • Food, clothing and shelter
  • Safety and protection
  • Physical and emotional growth
  • Medical and dental care
  • Education and any special needs

The guardian may also be responsible for the child's behavior and any damage the child may cause.

Guardianship of the Estate is set up to manage a child's income, money, or other property until the child turns 18. A child may need a guardian of the estate if he/she inherits money or assets. In most cases, the court appoints the surviving parent to be the guardian of the child's estate.

In some cases the same person can be the guardian of the person and of the estate. In other cases, the court will appoint two different people.

A guardianship of the estate is not needed when:

  • a child only owns inexpensive toys and clothing,
  • the child receives social security benefits or TANF/CalWorks (welfare).

Is Guardianship the Same as Adoption?

No. Here are some differences:

In a Guardianship:

  • Parents still have parental rights. They can have reasonable contact with the child.
  • The Court can end a guardianship if the parents become able to take care of the child.
  • Guardians can be supervised by the court.

In an Adoption:

  • The parents' rights are permanently ended.
  • The legal relationship with the adopted parents is permanent and is exactly the same as a birth family.
  • An adopted child inherits from his or her adoptive parent(s), just as a birth child would.
  • Adoptive families are not supervised by the court.

What if the parents agree to let me care for their child and don't want to go to court?

They can sign a notarized letter that says you have "custody" of the child. The letter should give you permission to make decisions about the child's education and medical care. It's also a good idea to get a medical release for emergencies.

Remember: The parents can cancel this agreement at any time.

What if the parents aren't available to sign an agreement with me?

If the parents are not available to sign a private agreement, you can fill out a Caregiver's Authorization Affidavit. This form usually lets you enroll the child in school and get medical care for the child.

The Caregiver's Authorization Affidavit is not an official court form. But the law says you can fill out this form if you are related to the child.

Remember: The parents can cancel this Affidavit at any time.

Click here (PDF) to get a Caregiver's Authorization Affidavit and instructions.

Can I meet all the child's needs with the Caregiver's Authorization Affidavit or a notarized letter from the parents?

Maybe not. Here's why:

  • Not all schools or medical facilities accept the Caregiver's Authorization Affidavit or a notarized letter.
  • The parents can cancel these forms or a letter at any time and take the child, even if it's not safe for the child.
  • It may be hard for you to get medical insurance for the child unless you are the legal guardian.

When does a guardianship end?

A guardianship ends when one of these things happens:

  • The child turns 18;
  • The child is adopted, marries, enters the military, or gets declared an adult (emancipated) by court order;
  • The court ends the guardianship;
  • A different person (successor guardian) becomes the guardian; or
  • The child dies before turning 18.

Who can ask the court to end a guardianship?

  • The child, if 12 or older,
  • The parents of the child, or
  • The guardian.

Can I resign as guardian?

Yes. A guardian can resign. But first, there must be a court hearing. And, you must give notice of the hearing to all relatives who were notified of your appointment as guardian.

You must show the court that it would be in the child's best interest for you to resign. If the judge agrees, s/he will appoint a guardian to replace you.

If no replacement is available, the child will probably be made a dependent in Juvinille Court.

 

 

 

 

MAILING ADDRESSES
Department 1
Post Office Drawer U
Independence, CA 93526


Department 2
Post Office Drawer U
Independence, CA 93526

Department 3
Post Office Box 518
Independence, CA 93526


Department 4
301 West Line Street
Bishop, CA 93514

CONTACT THE COURT
To contact the Superior Court by telephone call (760) 872-3038

OUR MISSION
Our mission is to protect the legal and constitutional rights of all; to provide an accessible forum to preside over and resolve disputes under the law; and to administer justice in a fair and impartial manner.

CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS
Credit card or E-check payments for criminal court fines and fees may be made through Official Payments.

Instructions on how to make a credit card payment.

Official Payments Corporation charges a convenience fee to use this service to make the payment.  This charge is payable to Official Payments and is separate from the primary obligation you will pay the Court.

creditcardlogo

If your case has been referred for collections to the Franchise Tax Board or to Alliance One, you must make your payment directly to those collection agencies and not through this credit card process.  If your case has been referred to either of these collection agencies, and you pay the Court by credit card, your payment may be returned to you.  The credit card fee charged is non-refundable. 

Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 1328
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-1328
(916) 845-4064

Alliance One
8589 Aero Dr
San Diego, CA 92123
(877) 541-8420

PUBLIC WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS

ADA
If you are coming to the Court and require accommodations due to a disability, please contact:

ADA Coordinator/Access
Lindsay Eropkin, Court Operations
voice: (760) 872-4518
fax: (760) 872-4984
lindsay.eropkin@inyocourt.ca.gov

The Court requires notification in advance of your appearance, or visit to the Court, to be sure the services you might request, such as sign language interpretation, assisted listening devices, courtroom accessibility or other assistance are available.  Please contact the ADA Coordinator as soon as possible to begin the process of insuring your access to the Court.

If you would like to  access the optional Judicial Council form please click on MC-410, Request for Accommodations by Persons with Disabilities and Order.

CALIFORNIA COURTS SELF-HELP CENTER

COURT FEES
JUNE 2012 FEE SCHEDULE

BAIL AND PENALTY SCHEDULES
2014 UNIFORM BAIL AND PENALTY SCHEDULES
STANDING ORDER - INYO COUNTY BAIL SCHEDULE

No conformed copies of documents filed with the clerk's office will be returned by mail unless a self addressed, stamped envelope is provided at the time of filing.  Inyo County Superior Court does not accept payment by credit card at this time.The staff is prohibited by law from rendering legal assistance or advice in court proceedings (GC 24004, 68082). Persons appearing on their own behalf (in propria persona) are responsible for preparing and presenting their pleadings in complete and proper form without legal assistance from deputies of the Clerks Office. Questions pertaining to legal matters or the proper completion of the appropriate forms should be answered by an attorney.  Attorneys of record are required to include California State Bar numbers on all pleadings (CRC 201).

The first page of each paper shall specify immediately below the number of the case the date, time, and location, if ascertainable, of any scheduled hearing and the name of the hearing judge, if ascertainable (CRC 311).

If a check is returned unpaid to this office, a notice will be sent to the filing party stating that they have twenty (20) days in which to pay the unpaid check by cash or certified check plus the twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

Make checks payable to: The Superior Court of California, County of Inyo.

COURT INTERPRETERS
Become an Interpreter

COURTHOUSE CONSTRUCTION
FAQ

DIRECTIONS

EMPLOYMENT
* Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

GRAND JURY

HOLIDAYS

INYO COUNTY AGENCIES

INYO COUNTY SELF-HELP CENTER/
FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR

JUDICIAL ASSIGNMENTS ORDER

JUVENILE JUSTICE COMMISSION

LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY PLAN

LOCAL RULES of COURT
Effective July 1st, 2010

 

american ribbon